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Olathe PD locates children recorded climbing into trunk of car

Posted: 12:49 PM, Jan 05, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-08 17:46:31-05

OLATHE, Kan. – UPDATE 4:40 PM 1/8/2017: Olathe police say the two young children seen on video climbing into the trunk of a car that then drives away have been found and are safe.

According to a release, police are continuing to investigate the incident and haven't said if charges will be filed.

ORIGINAL STORY:

Olathe police are asking for the public’s help finding the occupants of a vehicle in a possible child endangerment case.

Officers were called on Thursday afternoon to the 800 block of South Parker Street on a report of child endangerment.

They were shown a video posted on Facebook that showed two young children getting into the trunk of a gray 2000s model Volkswagen Jetta with Kansas tag 616KLC. 

The vehicle drove away with the two children apparently still in the trunk.

Darla, who asked 41 Action News to not reveal her last name due to backlash she has received, was the one who recorded the video.

She said the adult and children got her husband’s attention when their car pulled up to the strip mall parking lot in Olathe.

“We were sitting in the parking lot killing time when my husband saw a car pull in across from us and he was watching them,” Darla explained. “He was watching them and he said, ‘They just pulled a child out of the trunk.’”

After hearing her husband’s account, Darla said she pulled out her phone when she saw the group returning to the car.

“I just started videotaping it because I wanted to be sure I'd seen what I had seen,” she explained. “I just couldn't believe my eyes. Children belong in car seats and trunks are for groceries, not children." 

After reaching out to her family about the shocking site, Darla decided to post the video to Facebook.

She was soon met with criticism, with some Facebook users saying she should have reported the incident to police and others saying she shouldn’t judge other parents.

“I just couldn't believe the negativity that people have,” she explained. “I wasn't expecting that much attention."

Darla later decided to delete the video from Facebook.

However, those who saw it found it tough to believe.

“I’m shocked. First of all, it's freezing outside,” explained Kendra Ferguson, a mother who works nearby where the incident occurred. “No matter what the reasoning was it shouldn't have ever happened."

Olathe police are investigating, trying to locate the car and its occupants.

Police encourage anyone who sees suspicious or dangerous activity such as this to call 911 immediately rather than posting it to social media.

Anyone with information on this case is asked to call Olathe police at 913-971-6950, or the TIPS hotline, 816-474-8477.